Can sanctions hurt Putin enough to make him give up Crimea?
On Wednesday, the United States announced an initial round of sanctions in response to the situation in Ukraine, imposing a visa ban on individuals who played a part in Russia's military intervention. Advocates of economic pressure against Moscow clearly hope it's not the last round. Since the occupation of Crimea, there's been a slow rumble of calls from within and outside the Obama administration for using economic pressure to force Vladimir Putin's hand in Ukraine. Certainly, as an alternative to the use of force, sanctions have their appeal. If U.S. and European-led sanctions against Iran brought that radical regime to the negotiating table, then surely a replay could do the same for Vladimir Putin's Russia, right? The economist Anders Aslund is quite optimistic, telling the New York Times's Peter Baker that, "Russia can be forced out of Crimea with the combination of financial sanctions plus straightforward hard diplomacy."